Community History – Covington – Breweries


Breweries were part of the Lewisburg scene from the earliest settlement of the neighborhood. German residents provided not only a ready market for the product, but also an ample supply of talented brew masters and brewery workers.

One of the earliest breweries in the Lewisburg neighborhood was the Duhme & Company Brewery (also known as the Lexington Brewery). The business was operated by Margaret Duhme and William Schild and was located on the north side of Pike Street between Lewis and Western Row. The brewery was established in 1859. Later the brewery was owned by H.H. Kurre. In 1866, H.H. Kurre sold the establishment to J.H. Herzog, Feliz Fritz, and Philip Ammann for $45,000.

Another early brewery in the neighborhood was the Lewisburg Brewery. This brewery was established in 1866 by Charles Lang and Frank Knoll. The plant was located at the northwest corner of Lewis and Baker Streets. In 1886, John Seiler became the sole owner of the brewery. Newspaper articles of the day indicate that he paid $100,000 for the business. Four years later, much of the business was destroyed by fire. The facility was rebuilt. Beginning in the 1890s, the Lewisburg Brewery changed hands several times. The name of the business also underwent several changes. In 1892, the business was sold to Theodore Selhorst and Benjamin Graziani. In 1895, the name of the brewery was changed to the Phoenix Brewery. Two years later, the name was again changed, this time to the Covington Brewing Company.

The Covington Brewing Company drew the ire of Lewisburg residents in the early 1900’s. In 1911, Covington’s Health Officer, Dr. Wallingford, fined the brewery for producing a smoke nuisance. Lewisburg residents argued that the plant produced large amounts of soot that blanketed the neighborhood. One housewife claimed that she had swept up two pounds of soot from her sidewalk in one day. Eventually the brewery was charged with violating the city’s smoke ordinance. The case went to trial on August 1, 1911. After hearing testimony, Judge A.E. Stricklett, threw out the case citing a lack of sufficient evidence. The brewery officially closed its doors in 1918 at the onset of Prohibition. Charles P. Lang owned the company at this time.

Many other breweries operated in Lewisburg. These include: Covington Star Brewing Company (early 1900s), Knor, Rush and Schaub (late 1870s), J.H. Steinriedge (early 1880s), Windisch & Company (early 1880s), J.H. Deglow and Company (late 1860s), J.H. Herzog & Company (late 1860s through the early 1870s) Best and Brenner Brewery (1870s), and Bavarian (see separate article for Bavarian Brewery History).

Wimberg, Robert J., Cincinnati Breweries. (Cincinnati, Ohio: Ohio Book Store) 1989, pp. 35, 59 and 90; Kentucky Post, March 27, 1895, p. 3, July 27, 1911, p. 3 and August 1, 1911, p. 2; Covington Journal, December 12, 1868, p. 3.

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